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And Again

Chapter Text

Death stands crouched on the chain-link fence that separates the streets from the train tracks. Its ink-black skin isn't glossy enough to reflect the light of the sun, instead it seems to absorb all the light around it. There is something majestic about the gold lines running from its bare feet up over the wrap around cloth pinned to the waist reminisce of Ancient Egyptians. The golden lines that seems to be a part of Death's body swirled in intricate shapes, continuing up its toned torso and wrapping around its neck in what looks like gold jewellery that pharaohs would wear. Its neck arched from humanoid into something similar to a pharaoh hound with the headwear that made Death resemble Anubis.

Its huge black wings droops down on the fence, rustling from time to time as it stares at the boy on the train tracks. Glossy black eyes bore into emerald green ones as Death tilts its head.

"Take me this time, please," the boy says to the lurking entity as the ground rumbles beneath him, warning him of the incoming train. The boy closes his eyes. Death stands up as the train ran over the boy, his body smashed to bits. It lifts off the fence as the train leaves and the bloody remains are visible on tracks, gliding down on its wings, almost mocking an angel come to take someone to heaven. It throws its hand in an arc in front of it, a black scythe trailing smoke materialising under its fingers. When it tries to reap the soul of the boy, the scythe passes through empty air, gaining a frustrated growl from Death.

"You failed," a disappointed voice says from the remains as it stitches itself back together. "Again. Well, I guess it's worth a try every now and again in case any existing god decides to have mercy on me."

Death stomps its feet angrily on the ground like a spoiled child who didn't get their way and walks away, fuming. The green-haired boy, Midoriya Izuku, seems to be mocking it for its inability to reap the child. He should've died ten years ago at the age of four when his mother was killed in an accident along with him. Yet he survived. He has a quirk that allows his cells to stitch itself back together, but Death knows that that shouldn't be able to prevent death, only injuries—but what allows the boy to keep living despite his wishes is the fact that when Death swoops in like a vulture to take his soul, it comes up empty.

Death jumps back up to crouch on the fence, watching the near-naked boy walk drowsily over to the bag he placed on the side of the tracks leaning against the fence that he keeps his spare clothing in. When he finishes changing, he vaults the chain-link fence and walks aimlessly in the direction that would lead him further away from his apartment building with Death following not too far behind. Izuku digs around in the old red jacket he's wearing until he finds a forgotten lollipop in the colour scheme of All Might. He smiles and throws the wrapper behind with no regards for the environment, popping it into his mouth.

"Why do you die so unnecessarily?" A voice comes from an alleyway, stopping Izuku in his tracks.

Izuku squints at the darkness cloaking the man hidden in the space between the tall brick buildings. He hums, "Why do most people kill themselves?"

"Various reasons," the voice drawls. "All leading to an unhappiness of some kind."

"Well, I don't really have anything to live for." Izuku twirls the lollipop around with his tongue.

"I assume your quirk doesn't allow you to die?"

"Kinda." Izuku moves over to lean on the mouth of the alley, Death restlessly flapping its wings behind him. "Stitches my atoms back together or sometimes even creates new cells if the first option's not possible. It's usually a slower process if I don't consciously try, but I guess death makes it faster or something. Also some other thing that prevents me from getting diseased—don't know what."

"Do you not see a quirk specialist that can help you with this little predicament?" The owner of the voice walks closer to the light, revealing his weird mask.

"Can't afford it." A wet pop can be heard as Izuku pulls the lollipop out. "Dad only pays for school and the apartment."

"What if there were someone who could take away your quirk?"

Izuku pauses, then shrugs. "The only person I now who could do that is Eraserhead and..." Izuku lets out a noise of nonchalant realisation, pointing his lollipop in front of him. "Do you think if I can somehow find Eraserhead that he'd be interested in assisting me with suicide?"

"I think he'd send you to a psychiatric ward," the stranger says. "Now I don't believe I caught your name, my boy."

Izuku tilts his head in the direction of the alleyway. "Didn't throw it. Besides, don't expect my name if you haven't told me yours."

The man hums, a curious tint to his voice as he says, "People call me Sensei."

Izuku stares. "That's it?"

"I've discarded my birth name long ago."

"That's good enough, I guess," Izuku says, popping the lollipop back in his mouth. "Midoriya Izuku. You're a villain aren't cha?"

"What makes you think that, young Midoriya?"

"You're not denying it." Izuku doesn't drop his gaze from where he assumes Sensei's eyes are supposed to be.

Sensei hums in contemplation of something.

"Your hands are always ready, not in a fighting stance, so I assume your quirk is touch activated?"

It might've just been Izuku, but Sensei looks taken aback for a second, before he laughs, "Very good, my boy. I'm here because I'd like to offer you a job."

"For someone who can't fucking die?"

"For someone who wants to die."

Izuku freezes. "Go on."

"Follow me, young Midoriya."

With no regards for his safety, Izuku follows the man that could be planning to murder him. They don't get far until a black mist appears in front of them. Sensei gestures for Izuku to step through before him, following after into the dark room illuminated by the light of a screen. Sensei gestures again for Izuku to sit, in which he did willingly.

"I want you," Sensei started, "to infiltrate UA. Give us information."

Somewhere in the back of his mind, Izuku tells himself that this is a bad idea. If he accepts, he will infiltrate UA, pass along information to this villain who might even probably bring down a lot of students and heroes.

"What's in it for me?" Izuku asks.

"This." Sensei asks for Izuku's arm, gripping his wrist tightly and running a knife's edge along the skin just deep enough to draw blood. "Heal."

Izuku focuses his mind the way he does when he wants to accelerate his healing. After years and years of being able to heal, it is a strange event to almost burn a hole in your arm by just staring at the wound that won't close. Izuku wrenches his wrist from Sensei's grasp, jumping back a few metres. He reaches down to pull a combat knife from his laced boots, holding it in front of him in a defensive stance.

"You... erased my quirk."

"I took it."

Letting out a bark of laughter, Izuku turns the knife on himself and embeds the blade into his pale freckled neck. He topples, pulling the knife out so he can die faster, his body hitting the floor with an audible thud as he bleeds out. Death jumps in excitement, scythe materialising as it grips it like a child that just got a new toy. Through his hazy vision and pain, Izuku sees Sensei walking over to him and give him a gentle tap on the shoulder. Death gives a frustrated cry as the gaping wound on his neck seals itself up.

So close. He was so close, he wants to cry out his frustration like the dark entity behind him did.

"That's what's in it for you, my boy," Sensei says, his smile malicious.

"I trust I'm not the first one when I say this," Izuku rasps through his dry throat. "Giving me a taste and then taking it away. You are a cruel man, Sensei."

Sensei laughs, a deep and shaking sound. "So, young Midoriya. What is your answer?" He asks as if he doesn't already know the obvious answer.

"Yes," Izuku says, smiling up at the villain. "I'll take the job."